To become a certified addictions counselor, research your state's requirements for certification, including education, certification fees, work-study programs and physical or mental health requirements. When completing your electives in college, consider taking courses in therapy and counseling, psychology, sociology and anthropology, customer service, and sociology. Apply and pass any certification exams to receive your license.
Many states require at least a bachelor's degree in human resources, psychology or social work. Depending on your state's requirement, supplement these degrees with other coursework, including educational, philosophy, theology, administrative or government courses, as the people you counsel have varied needs for combating their addiction problems. Some states only require an Associate degree in addiction counseling, as well as an internship working for a reputable counselor. Contact a local treatment center or a college guidance counselor to discover what you must do to become certified.
Become familiar with techniques used to communicate clearly, to listen and to address particular needs. Problem-solving skills are very important to being able to offer solutions to a wide range of issues concerning addiction. Improve overall social skills to be able to work with many types of personalities. Consider finding internships with doctors, social services or support groups to get hands-on training while pursuing a certification.